My colleague Scott sent me an email today with this story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which basically strikes down the law which put one of the most infamous spammers in history in the slammer for 9 years. Unbelievably, he was allowed to argue that his "email campaigns" were covered under the "freedom of speech" provisions in the US Constitution... even though his email spews were 100% commercial - how does that work?
Of course... the question is, will this reversing of the Virginia law cause a cascading failure of legal precedent up into the US Federal CAN-SPAM Act? We'll have to wait and find out I guess - but I have some additional thoughts on this topic - namely - does this have anything to do with security, or is it simply a nuisance to administrators, mailbox owners, and network managers have to learn to live with?
Interesting that arguing "freedom of speech" could reverse a law that makes it illegal to send unsolicited, commercial email to random people.
My favorite quote of the article is this one... from the ruling itself.
The Virginia law “is unconstitutionally overbroad on its face because it prohibits the anonymous transmission of all unsolicited bulk e-mails, including those containing political, religious or other speech protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Justice G. Steven Agee wrote.
...so because the law prohibits the transmittal of *any* type of unsolicited email (including religious and political emails) it means that the law in whole is unconstitutional.
--Thanks Scotty... interesting development indeed.